McIlroy was playing a friendly game on AstroTurf in Bangor last Saturday evening when he suddenly went over, unchallenged, on his left ankle. O’Flaherty said they would not know until the end of the week about the prospects of McIlroy teeing up at St Andrews on July 16. Previously McIlroy was a 4-to-1 favorite over Spieth (6/1) in many books.
McIlroy and Spieth have won the last four majors, marking the first time in almost a century that two players in their 20s have shared four successive majors.
Spieth was as shocked by any of the news.
“Unlucky, obviously”, Luke Donald told The Associated Press. Its just unlucky timing, especially this time of the year.
“Rory may be a superman on the golf course, but he is going to heal pretty much at the same rate as anyone else”. Its added a bit of spice to the game.
A spokesman for R&A, who run The Open, said: “We are very sorry to hear of Rory’s injury. We will have to wait for him to make a proper judgement on that”. “Fast and healthy recovery”, Garcia tweeted.
But McIlroy’s injury comes at one of the worst times with three title defenses approaching. The left ankle is crucial in a golf swing as weight transfers to that side of the body (for right-handers) in generating power.
Ex- Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance was taken by surprise by the news as he arrived at Wimbledon to watch the day’s action.
Other notables are Phil Mickelson, Jimmy Walker, Matt Kuchar, Ian Poulter, Luke Donald, Graeme McDowell, Victor Dubuisson, and the reborn-at-52 Colin Montgomerie, who won the United States Seniors PGA this year, and finished second at the United States Seniors Open. He also won the PGA Championship in 2014. “Losing the No 1 player in the world for a major championship would be tough”.
McIlroy’s drop was not as dramatic because of uncertainty over the injury.
The 26-year-old’s participation at St Andrews is in doubt after he posted a picture of himself on crutches and McGinley expects him to miss out, paving the way for Masters and U.S. Open champion Spieth to close in on a third straight major.
There’s no official timetable on McIlroy’s recovery, though early estimates suggest six weeks is probably realistic.
“But should he be playing football?” Although not ideal if unable to play his customary number of practice rounds, he at least knows his way around the Old Course.
Now, in a light-hearted gesture, Meade wants readers to place their hands on a photo of McIlroy’s ankle at noon today and send positive vibes to the golfer before the tournament begins on Thursday week.